A Second Life
End of the Month Photo Show
On Sunday August 21st, Iyoba and I packed up everything and moved to "new" land on the front side (I always thought it was the front side) of EDdesign Island. We renamed our property, set it to group, packed everything in stages, and unpacked it on the other end.
The turtles went first; for they needed to be boxed. Then came the two structures which we held together. We packed the landscape items in a haphazard way except for those that belonged in the temperate house. We have a temperate house, because Utopia Portugal XVIII and everywhere we have lived since is tropical. Our 512 is temperate summer. Temperate plants need their own environment, so anything temperate lives in the temperate house. This includes stone fruit trees, tobacco, borage, monarda etc....
The exterior landscaping though is never the same twice so there was no need for order. We unpacked the house first and released the turtles on the roof. We clicked their homing object and thirteen turtles were all settled in. The zwickies were even easier to release, since they did not need boxing up into inventory.
Of course as we were boxing up the turtles two of them decided it was time to mate. The two who mated were Tecumseh and Dinah. The picture which was taken in April is of Xerxes, the burgundy turtle and the male, mating with Narcisse, the female, who are not retired. They will be with me to the bitter end. Both are breeding superstars in their own way, but all turtles are breeding superstars. And if you've ever wondered if Second Life breedables have sex, well now you've seen it.
Of course a lot of the turtles I moved were pregnant. It can't be helped when you have seven females and six males. I like the randomness, and buying food keeps Petable in business. Without Petable, these turtles become statues of their former selves. Dinah was not the first to lay an egg in our new home, but above you can see the egg for yourself. It was the last egg conceived at the old location. I named it Yocheved 2. There is as we allready know, a blue zwicky named Yocheved.
And if you ever wondered what zwickies looked like when they were mating, well this is all four of them caught in the act. If you let them, they have a free for all. It's Sadie Hawkins day, and although people don't believe this, zwickies are chimeric. Each one of those females contributed a portion of her genes to the offspring. The male gestates the baby and gives birth to it twenty-four to forty-eight hours later. Unlike turtles that produce one to three eggs per day (per female), zwickies produce only one offspring per week. The male to female sex ratio is probably from 1:8 to 1:12.
The offspring of this mating was Stephenna, my tenth female. After this my zwickies stopped going through their hormonal cycles and ceased to have any interest in reproduction. This left me bitter. Update 1.14 gave them the ability to follow me though, and this was fun. Plan Z or no Plan Z, I planned to take plenty of pictures, and enjoy the time I had left. Zwickies unlike turtles, have a finite lifespan. One of the side effects of having multiple zwickies following you is that they make a lot of stars like the one above.
Triple and quadruple (and larger) zwicky stars are fairly unusual events without follow. They occur most commonly around the feeding orb because zwickies are voracious eaters. They make turtles seem dainty by comparison, but that is just a gut feeling not based on actual measurements. This double star out in the open was also a follow artifact.
And yes, that is all four of my zwickies in a star as seen from the rear. Geronimo, my white male, is in the front. Remember they are facing backward. The zwickies were all indoors at that point. I was moving them outoodrs on Lonewolf Saxondale's advice. He said fresh air would encourage them to breed. Subira, my red female zwicky would not come out of the house and had to be dragged. I think she liked it inside. Zwickies can be just a little moody. Yes, I know it is the result of a script that fails a percentage of the time, but the verisimilitude is up there, and that is enough to satisfy mirror neurons.
There was a reason my zwickies were not cycling (They'll breed eventually if they cycle.) other than my thinking negative thoughts or keeping them in the home office. They needed a zelly blossom. Griderz gave me one and nothing happened. I complained. Griderz made them free for the taking. I got one, and a week ago it blossomed. I went to photograph it though I should have been in bed. That was when the script errors appeared. I took a screen shot with printscreen, resized it, uploaded it and sent it to Griderz, the zwicky creator, with a note of explanation.
She fixed the error. I got a new zelly blossom. It bloomed twice and my zwickies have an extended lifespan and...they're cycling again! I guess we're all just perimenopausal as the joke goes except for the avie who has a few years to go, and the turtles who are immortal unless starved to death.
And this is not quite a zwicky star, but it happened over at the old location, and it is the way zwickies bump into each other and their humans. People call this a zwicky kiss, but I think it looks more like a collision.
So ask me how I feel about the move. I dreaded it because it took work, and we'd be on the same island, so we weren't getting something new out of it. Actually, it worked out well because we were able to use our gates again. We have some water for swimming and are next to Walter, our favorite landlord. It is ages since we had a really good neighbor. Venus has wanted my rear parcel. I think she just wanted it blank so she didn't have to look at it. Well she has her empty space now. The zwickies are cycling. The turtles seem content, and even Iyoba and I are happy...for now.
Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni -- August 31, 2011K
The Radix Tree
You'll understand the name for this post soon. I do want to write about zwickies and turtles, the virtual kind. I have a red-eared slider in real life. That's Joie. I would never throw away my zwickies for going through the change of life. Do you think I'd practice age discrinmination? I played aerial tag with my zwickies. I danced with one of them. The new FOLLOW function opens up a whole new world of interactivity. Thankyou Griderz Luv, and that would have been enough for the time I have left, but there is more.
My second zelly flower, an object that is supposed to make spores that make zwickies fertile again, bloomed. Last Wednesday I wanted to photograph it. I managed to get in my first shot and I saw a script error. I took a screen shot and uploaded it and sent it to Griderz. She fixed the flowers. As of yesterday, my zwickies have begun to cycle again.
As for my turtles, they are laying orange, pink, and multicolored eggs. I have even received two cosmic earths and one thirty percent glow out of the mix. The turtles are random and fun. They eat a lot. They lay a lot of eggs, and that is what they are meant to do. I think they will be around at least until late September, maybe longer. I can live with that.
Yesterday I went to make a new tree for my land. I haven't made any plants in a long time. I liked foxtail millet but couldn't see a way to use it to make a dress. It made a great tree especially when dyed red. It's a gothic looking tree, gnarled, with huge, coarse leaves and big fluffy fruits/blossoms. Actually, they are seed clusters.
Now you are probably wondering why this tree is growing in sand when it ought to be growing in grass, since Stinky Stinky is nice and green. Even at our new location (We had to move to give Venus Panthar the whole rear strip on the island), it is green. That is because we went to the sandbox on Eternal Creations. We had been there many times before, but now the fence was down and the crab, and the pail and shovel were gone. It was hard to even find the place. We could not find our way around at all. Even the store that gave away free religious jewlery and clothes was gone! All the freebies for those who want them were gone!
"What could be happening?" I wondered. "Was a mass rebuilding project going to happen?" There had been lots of those on these sims. That made sense. Still I knew we would have to explore. Maybe we'd see the beginnings of something new.
This cross was all that was left of the old Eternal Creations. Everything else was bear. The puddle of blue water which you can't see in front of me was where the old club used to be, the club where they had contests, prayer requests, strange music, and ice skating in the winter. Christians loved tinies and costumes. I was always welcome there even though neither the One nor I are Christians. No one ever proselytized us. We sometimes played Bible trivia and actually got some of the questions right. The club moved around. It's been gone for a long time, but the rental directory was missing too, and there was no new build! this cross was it.
This picture shows you how empty the entire sim is. The other islands are also very empty, but there are still some buildings. Eternal Creations went up hill and down hill over the years, though mostly down the last year or so. Now it had sunk so low and desolate. I felt sad about all this. I worried. Last night, Iyoba asked the group about the bare islands.
What I learned was disquieting and yes, surprizing. Sonic Rang, the owner is selling the entire five island Eternal Creations archipelago. I suspect he overexpanded. I feel bad. I can't afford a whole sim, but Eternal Creations made Iyoba's and my newbie experience that much more humane and pleasant. We found the place through the search engine. I remember when it was a going concern, half church, half mission, two thirds business empire, and a busy social club. For someone else needing a conservative, harassment-free environment, just searching Christian and finding Eternal Creations won't do it any more.
I am going to try to talk to Walter about rescuing one sim. If two of us go in together, we may be able to swing it and get some of the original tenants to rent from us. That is a good deal financially, and I understand Eternal Creations even if I am not a Christian. I will miss the place terribly, and that is an understatement.
Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- August 30, 2011
Plan Z for the Zwickies
It was simple. Saturday night Geronimo, my white, male, luna zwicky gave birth for the tenth time, and to his tenth FEMALE offspring. Clearly s omeone did not tell me something when I bought my starter pack. Zwicky genetics were to some degree to be discovered. That is a risk one takes with a new breedable, but I have to know how to handle risk. Right now I am sure I am not going to get another male zwicky. It is just not going to happen. The starter pack is not self sustaining. Continuing beyond the first six months as a zwicky owner, requires an additional investment of 200-400L. I don't know if the zwicky creators planned this or if it just worked out that way. It really doesn't matter.
What matters is what I do, and it was a tough decision, but there is such a thing as throwing good money after bad. I know I don't want to feed sterile breedables. I don't think zwicky fighting is that big. If that changes, my mind may change, but fighting zwickies takes more food than breeding them, and after a hundred and eighty days, it is going to cost to breed them. My female offspring are all in stasis. When my current zwickies time runs out, that is where they will stay. I'll be out the excess food, but that is my own dumb fault. On day 181, it's over. That's the Plan Z.
As for my turtles, my three new females and some of my three new males breed tonight. It's ladies' choice or totally random up there on the roof at Stinky Stinky. Tomorrow night, I should see some surprizes. My doubled turtle census means I contribute more in a meaningful way to keeping Petable in business, and the turtles breed, move, and act like turtles for their food. Feeding turtles that breed is not a problem. The price of breeding stock has never been an issue. I'm not sure what I'll do when Petable folds. I may create more plants. I may buy nonbreedable pets that move. I'll have the primmage for it, and it will be a one time expense. The end of Petable is still two months away, minimum and more likely six months to a yaer from now. In Second Life time, that is an eternity.
As Walter's "secretary" I have other troubles. A large piece of Eddesign Island sits abandoned and the rent for it is due in two days. The tenant would like me to move to half a 4096 (Walter is taking the other half) that she has also abandoned but not fully relinquished. Walter has to do some land shuffling. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Meanwhile, the two other new tenants have dropped to within four days of their due date. I hope they pay up quietly. The last thing Walter and I need is a rent strike. I do have a Plan B for land, but moving is a pain. I know where I would go if no one has bought up all the parcels from Governor Linden. It is a sweet piece of land on Gaeta, but I am fantasizing. I just wish I knew what the next few days will bring.
Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- August 15, 2011
The Home Invasion
The One Who Thinks She Knows has more serious news, and I'm going to let her tell it, but first, I have the story of the Home Invasion. Back when I was much younger, if I saw an empty house I'd go inside it. I'd sometimes even go inside a full house too, but most houses I found were empty. This was because both the One and I were curious. We wanted to find out how big fancy houses worked. I wanted to sit on the furniture, turn on the TV, try the bathroom etc... We both decided we really did not want a big house. We seldom got caught except by security orbs, and we did have fun with those.
I kind of missed doing home invasions so last night, I told my One, I wanted to try one again. There was a big building right near a mall in Liberty State. We weren't sure if it was some kind of public club or a house, it was so large. I said, let's go see what it is. I ran on to the property, and it appeared to be a private dwelling. I still wanted to check it out.
I had to fly up into the compound. It had a huge outside patio with a pool. Ths is only some of what was there. I decided to put my bathingsuit on and go for a swim. They didn't really have real water in the pool, because my Swimmer didn't work. Instead they had a swimming animation that was free to copy and that I used to go swimming. The water in the pool, by the way, was nice and deep.
Of course I now wanted to try getting in the house. Most big houses are a bit disappointing. This one was really better than most. The problem is they are a lot of prims, a lot of dead space, and very expensive because they require a fair amount of land. They are much more fun to visit and invade than they are to own.
In the living room of this house was a fireplace, a couch, and a TV. If you are going to spend all that money to rent the land to house the prims to build a big house, why would you just want to sit around and watch TV? Here I am standing in the living room, and here is what I think about the big TV watching setup.
Now it was time to go up the stairs. Bedrooms in houses in Second Life are supposed to be filled with all sorts of dark secrets. You can pretty much guess what those are if you have a dirty mind. These are beds with sex animations, but I'm by myself. That makes the idea of lying down on a bed and touching a pose ball make me look pretty dumb.
This bedroom, though, had a dancing pole in it. There were no animations on the pole. Maybe the owners didn't want people trying out their stuff inside. Fortunately, I have plenty of dances in inventory. I had a good time dancing on the bedroom pole.
This house also had a bathroom. Bathrooms are cool. There was a toilet there. I tried it, but my One won't photograph me on the toilet. It did not have a really good animation on it. My toilet on Stinky Stinky has a real going to the bathroom animation, and the same is true of the bath tub and sik. I did try the shower, but it lacked a good washing animation. A bathroom is one really good reason to have a house when you think about it, but this bathroom, though it looked pretty, was not much of a bathroom.
I felt nice and clean after my shower. I always do. I love water. It was time to put on a clean dress, shoes, and hairpiece, and sandals and head back to Stinky Stinky to take care of the turtles. I hope you can see why home invasions are fun and why they don't hurt anybody. If these people don't want invaders or people trying out their stuff, they are free to lock doors, put up security orbs, or use ban lines. I can have fun with some of these, but in the end, home invasion is still great fun, and it made me feel nostalgic.
Iyoba BatOni -- July 11, 2011
Every Turtle Tells a Story
Well the turtles awoke in time for me to get a lot of snapshots of them. There will be more coming, but we'll take a break from them too. Promise.... These are Dinah, the mother of the eggs shown in Iyoba's Petable hud below, and Yehuda. Dinah has the olive green shell. Yehuda is a very unusual mint green. He is an F1 turtle.
His father is Orpheus who was a deep emerald green turtle I bought from Snakeleady Melody's 1L turtle egg dip. One of his parents or grandparents was a Cosmic Earth, a special. Another was black. He was just good looking. His blood is in a lot of the new babies.
Dinah is a P1 turtle. I bought her from Radioactive Rosca who sold Radioactive Turtles on a sim that has long since vanished. Radioactive Rosca is of course "out of turtles," but Dinah continues to produce lovely, warm toned green offspring, including the occasional gorgeous, glow, if glows are your thing. They're not really mine.
You'll meet a sleeping version of Wahidde down below. She is an orange-red female whom I bought as an "iced" (dead) turtle from Lucy Eberheart and revived with the Elixir of Life. It's not that hard to do, and Wahidde has been a fine P1 female. I bought her as a substitute for Zhara who was a red, Snakelady Melody creation (That was her breeder) and who disappeared (Zhara not Snakeleady Meoldy) mysteriously. I still miss Zhara. I sometimes poor Whaidde for granted. I shouldn't.
The bright green turtle is Mendel. He is also a P1 turtle, and I obtained him from Hildegard Burnstein on the island of Nozomi. Hildegarde is a Japanese breeder, who was never all that active. Nearly all her turtles were green. Mendel produces amazing offspring with Narcisse. I could not hatch these out due to consanguinity issues, but if you want the eggs, they'd be great in someone else' line.
At the time I bought Mendel, who is named for Gregor Mendel, due to the genetic diversity he brought me, as an egg, Nozomi was part of the Mag SL, ring shaped, Japanese archipelago. It has since been cut loose and become part of Hildegard Burnstein's own small group of islands. These have a very mature rating, and I'm not sure Hildegarde Burnstein produces turtles any more. We share no other interests in common. I wrote her when Mendel fathered a particularly gorgeous offspring, and received no reply.
Adamina was a P1 turtle I finally broke down and bought from Starsong Bright's Plain and Pretty table. I'm not sure if Starsong is still in business. She co-owned the big turtle mart that is long gone from a region near Hartley, where I first got introduced to turtles. The Plain and Pretty table let you pick your own eggs for 30L each which was a bit steep. Most of the eggs were the progeny of specials.
Adamina is the daughter of a Summer 2010. There will be no Summer 2011's but Summer 2010's used to give terrible neurotic messages that they were having hot flashes. As much as I admired their coloring which was golden and very similar to Adamina's their neuroses was a little too much life imitating art. Being a Summer cross and a plain and pretty, Adamina does not get hot flashes. That makes me much happier.
I have thirteen turtles, but you can only see eleven in this arial picture. They are little round colored spots on the roof of Iyoba's Executive Office. The other two who are hiding, Eicha and Adamina, I think, are behind the Australian Christmas tree. You can see a bit of the stereo, Iyoba's sleeping mat (She really does prefer to sleep outdoors!), and Iyoba herself in a scarlet and yellow, floral print dress.
You will meet all of our turtles and see lots of them. I intend to make machinima of them as well if I get the time. They each have a unique history. Some are my own stock. Some come from other breeders. They carry with them the history of turtling in their blood and their genes. Their names carry my history. That they are the last of their kind makes them most special of all. One of the ways I will keep them alive and alive for others besides myself is through this blog.
I think that Iyoba and I have made our peace with the news about Petable turtles. We have not made our peace with the Zwicky replacement issue. Well, Petable Turtles, still exist. They still function and may do so for months to come. We did the only logical step that we could think of that meant anything. Right before Tish B'Av we hatched out seven turtles, boxed one and kept the rest. There are three females and three males. The first group was all male. The second group had one male who did not live very long and three females, none of whom I had the hear to box. Two are consanguinous, but both being female, they will not mate with eachother. Two of the males are consanguinous too.
I doubt there will be any F3 turtles. There don't have to be. It is the present that matters. Turtles eat. That means I buy more food from Petable. It is only a few dollars and does not make that much difference, but if the rest of us do it, we may keep Petable around for more rather than less time. Five years is an eternity in Second Life, and this had to end some time.
Meanwhile, I have also started to photograph my turtles to leave an archive of turtles and turtling on this blog. Today's effort was not that great because our shell babies were sleeping.
This is Whahidde and Billie. They are both females. Billie is an F2 turtle. Whaidde is a P1 from Lucy Eberheart. Both have their heads tucked in. I don't believe I hatched Wahidde. She arrived "iced" and I resurrected her. Billie's mother was the Cosmic Earth, Shamayith. How she came out such an outrageous tricolor, I'll never know, but something about her said "hatch me." She is named after Little Wilhelmine in Roberth Southey's poem "The Battle of Blenheim." Wahidde has an Arabic name that means valued and wanted. The naming of turtles is a serious business.
Turtles live to eat, and Petable makes its money by selling food. Here are my turtles' food bowl and homing object. The homing object is the bottle and the entire "pen" which is star-shaped, porous, and lots of fun. One of the great things about Petable Turtles is you can modify the homing object and design your own layout. You can display your turtles in any number of beautiful settings. In my case, the turtles live on the roof of Iyoba's Executive Office. There is a stereo up there with a choice of radio channels, a sunbathing mat, an Australian Christmas tree with yellow flowers and of course the turtles, their food, and their eggs.
Here is the turtle food which had not yet had time to rez. You have to rez a box of turtle food to feed your turtles. Some people leave the box rezzed all the time. I don't think it's particularly attractive so I rez it, fill the bowls, and put the box back in inventory. Needless to say, Iyoba's inventory is full of hundreds of boxes of turtle food since they multiply themseleves every time you take one.
That tan thing in the center of the picture is the Petable Hud. It gives statistics on different turtles. You toucha turtle or an egg and get its stats: it's age, its sex, its state of gestation if it is an adult female, its original breeder, its parents, and grandparents. Hilda 2 is an egg that Dinah hatched last night. The father is Mendel. Both are green turtles but Dinah is more olive green. Even with a not-too-fancy graphics card, it is easy to see that no two turtles have the same coloration. Every egg is unique.
And speaking of eggs, I needed to scan the roof to find eggs. I did not find any. I ran maternity checks on all my females. To do this, you wear the hud and touch the turtles. If they are asleep they complain. Turtles are quiet neurotic. Basicly they complain you woke them up and ask sleeping turtles to lie. You see this message in your chat box again and again as you test each sleepy female. None of my turtles had yet given birth. Something is slowing them down but that was fin with me.
On the right of the screen you can see Iyoba's and my bottomless inventory. Yes, we have lots and lots of identical boxes of turtle food. The actual amount of food you have is on Petable's server. The food gets deducted as you fill the bowls. Thirteen turtles eat eighty servings of food a day. I buy food in 1600 serving boxes, that cost about $8.00 each (1600 Lindens). Remember, I want Petable to stay alive, and turtles are cute. When I get some good individual shots, I'll have them up for you.
Then when I least expected it, I found a single egg. Turtles can lay up to three eggs, and they lay a clutch every day. They only take a few hours off between "pregnancies." They live as long as you feed them. A turtle can make hundreds or thousands of eggs in her life time. This is quite different from Zwickies who produce one offspring every eight days. This single egg was a beauty though, and yes, it was Dinah and Mendel's. Turtles pair up somewhat randomly, or you can consider it ladies' choice. Having a lot of males helps make reproduction interesting, since you'll never know what you'll find. I decided to name the egg Lakewood.
There is a radio station based in Lakewood, NJ that plays Jewish music and humorous commercials. I'm sure the rabbis and others who run this religious station have no idea that you can hear their broadcast in Second Life and that a Jewish woman in Atlanta with an African American avie gathers her turtle eggs and checks up on her zwickies to the sound of New New York Jewish Radio 107.9 Lakewood. I am tempted to write to those running the station and letting them know how far it reaches. Maybe some day I will do it.
Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni -- 8/10/11
Nobody wins at the All Star Game
I now have nine female zwickies in stasis. I have a five percent chance of having ten females. I did the math, but I don't even know if the numbers are right. Never buy a breedable whose genetics are unknown. I got into turtles by the time their genetics was an open book. This made them easy and fun and just unpredictable enough to breed and enjoy.
Do you notice the past tense. Here is why. It has nothing to do with the product itself. It has to do wtih deeper issues in Second Life. Second Life is lawless. Second Life economics works on trust. Owning and keeping breedables means relying on trust with the vendor that you will not get socked with sudden continuation costs or that the beedable will be there and working if you feed it and take care of it. That doesn't sound like much, but remember Second Life is a precapitalist society. I took Petable for granted. Petable had a theft problem and no way for the law (Linden Labs) to stop it. Some day soon, I will no longer have breeding turtles.
I don't know when some day is coming and in a way it doesn't matter. I feel wounded, cheated, betrayed. I wish I had photos. I do have photos but I am not in the mood to post them. I've been to the sandbox. I got my computer able to run everything well and fast (Hopefully it will work without a hitch tonight), and I even have a decent project, then news comes along like this and all I feel is black and bitter inside. This is worse than feeling bored with Second Life which usually goes away. I don't know how a feeling like this can go away.
Pet ownership is a big part of my SL idenitity. This is threatening in so many ways it hurts. I don't know what else to say.
Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- August 8, 2011
Do Zwickies Play Baseball?
I know that female zwickies fight, but I don't know how popular it is. I have eight female zwicky babies in stasis and no males. Zwickies have a finite lifespan. It may cost me money to produce a male to replace Geronimo. I will either have to pay to extend his life or buy a new starter kit or buy a new hybrid male. How do you say "rip off?" I could just rez the female zwickies two at a time, enjoy them, and when they're gone....
I might learn a thing or two about fighting them, since if all I'm going to end up with from this adventure in breedables is female hybrid zwickies is.... All right, I feel cheated! And yes, this is the same dull rant that the turtle wranglers used to bore me with eons ago. The small breeder is screwed, except this time it's not about getting rares or ultra rares or specials or whatnot. It's simply about being able to cheaply continue with whatever stock is available, either one's own or someone else' Males are scarce. This makes them expensive. This keeps zwickies less fecund than other breedables. This is a great idea in theory for those who want to make money, but for those who just want to enjoy things. This is my first public complaining.
I may walk away from zwickies when it's over feeling very sad I still have several more months to enjoy them before I consider what to do next. And knowing that I simply can't breed cheap stock in peace really does bother me. This is not the same high expectation of horse or turtle breeders. Breedables are supposed to be breedable for enjoyment, and as I near the end of 180 days, I am going to get angrier and angrier. A good solution is to guarantee a replacement male to any one who doesn't get one, yes it's a free lunch. Another solution is change the sex ratio. A third solution is that there are enough hybrid males out there that someone can set up a male dip or sell them for a reasonable price, the same or less than life extension. And no, I don't believe the free market will take care of this. I just don't. And I still think my zwickies are the most beautiful breedables in Second Life. It's a shame that this is happening.
I can't blog about this, but something happened that made me very interested in tinkering with my SLLVR HUD which I wear when I volunteer with Iyoba at Info Island. I made a note of where to obtain a professional (conservative) wardrobe, though ideally avies should be making their clothes. I really believe this.
I also want to put together notes with active small clubs and good places to explore. When one starts an exercise like this, one learns very fast, and very sadly, how much the landscape has changed and not for the better. Places disappear. Much of the ring shaped Japanese archipelago that includes Akiba has changed. It's gone. The Japanese are conservative. Maybe Second Life is too flashy a thing to maintain in tough times. I can't picture a Japanese person who is unemployed renting a whole sim, but I've seen Americans, Brazilians, and Arabs all do it. My Second Life personality is closer to that of the Dutch and Germans. I'm an individualist, but I'm conservative and think of the long haul. Still I mourn the places that are gone including the island where I first camped, even though the camping venu is long gone. This new project is going to be much harder than I originally planned.
Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- August 1, 2011